Samantha Barbash, stripper who inspired J-Lo 'Hustlers' movie, blows lid off CEO spending
Real-life “hustler” Samantha Barbash got the biggest work perks of her life – including a $100,000 paid Caribbean vacation and thousand-dollar shopping sprees to Louis Vuitton – in the wake of the financial crisis.
“I worked during the recession, but it didn’t really affect our money, to be honest,” Barbash, 45, told FOX Business. “The adult industry never gets affected by that – people are depressed because they’re not making money.”
The Bronx native was the ringleader of a crew of strip club workers who allegedly drugged wealthy clients, took them to gentlemen's clubs and charged thousands of dollars on their credit cards for liquor, lap dances and tips.
She’s the inspiration behind Jennifer Lopez’s character in the upcoming movie “Hustlers,” which follows street-smart former strip club employees out for revenge on their Wall Street clients.
Barbash pleaded guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny in 2017 in exchange for five years probation. Now, she’s detailing her escapades at cocaine-fueled parties with stars, and going on an $80,000 shopping spree at 6 a.m. at stores like Christian Louboutin, in her new book, “Underscore."
In it, she dishes on a Fortune 500 CEO she met at New York City strip club Hustler in 2008 who’d spend up to $70,000 a night, she exclusively told FOX Business. The duo became fast friends, Barbash explained. And a year later when her mother passed away, Barbash says he treated her and two girlfriends to an all-expenses-paid trip to a five-star hotel in Aruba and put his card down for lavish spa treatments, room service and shopping days – a bill that set him back a cool $100,000, she revealed.
“He came in very frequently. We became great friends. I wasn’t dating him, there was no sexual contact,” Barbash said of the CEO whom she would not name.
In another instance, Barbash said she met a separate client who took her to a Louis Vuitton in New Jersey and dropped $140,000 on purses. Barbash says "I wasn’t married at the time, I didn’t say no. At the end of the day, I’m not going to turn down a shopping spree."
“If a guy wants to come in that’s very wealthy, and decides he wants to take 10 girls shopping, there’s no girl that would want to say no."
A more typical day for Barbash started at 9 p.m. when she worked as a strip club host six years ago, and consisted of her getting paid at least $8,000 to throw parties for high-profile clients and celebrities, not including tips.
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“There was an infamous R&B singer who didn’t want to stop the parties until five or six in the morning,” Barbash explained. “He’d pay the host via credit card and have girls go back to his room and watch him party and do cocaine. It was never my thing. I was always business-minded,” she said.
“A lot of the girls in this business get caught up in drugs. Make the money, don’t let the money make you.”
Barbash was in nursing school while she worked as a strip club host. After her arrest, she opened a medical spa specializing in plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures two years ago.
While she may have liberally spent other people's money, Barbash does quite the opposite when it comes to her own, and advises young women to think of the big picture.
“Save your money and invest. You’re not going to be young forever, don’t think about the $5,000 Chanel bag — think about the bigger business,” Barbash advised.
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“At the end of the day, I did have a court case that I pleaded guilty to, I’m not ashamed of it. It bettered my life for the good.”